Month: August 2013

DIY Travel Felt Board

My toddler and I are planning a trip to see my folks in Toronto pretty soon. It’s about a 5 hour flight, but we have a layover in Chicago for about an hour and a half. I’m thinking, the layover is probably a good thing so Baby Brownie can run around and work out her excess energy. But I’m still dreading the flight.

Now that she loves to run around and play, Baby Brownie can’t sit still for long…especially not in my lap (we didn’t buy her a seat). And she loves to get into trouble and play with stuff she shouldn’t be messing with. Other moms I’ve talked to say to bring lots and lots of activities to keep her busy, so I’ve been putting together a bag full of travel activities. New toys, crayons, stickers, books… and I saw this awesome idea for a DIY felt board so I made one to bring along.

diy travel felt board

I got this idea from a friend who got it from a blog but I can’t for the life of me find that blog again!!! So I’m very very sorry if I stole your idea. Just let me know and I’ll give you the credit!

Also, this felt board is NO SEW, which makes it really easy.

Materials:

Various colors of craft felt, including at least two (2) 8.5 x 11″ pieces.
Scissors
Fabric glue
Batting

felt board stuffing

I decided to stuff my felt board with batting to stiffen it a little but still keep it soft and plush and foldable. I just cut a rectangle of polyester batting a little smaller than my two 8.5 x 11″ pieces of felt, sandwiched it between the felt, and glued the edges of the felt with a bead of fabric glue.

felt board house

The rest was super simple. I just cut out some triangles, rectangles, and squares to make a house. I cut out other shapes to make a sun, moon, star, cloud, and tree. The components of the tree and the sun are glued together to make it easier for my daughter to recognize. The grass is glued down too. Everything else is loose so she can place them wherever she wants. When I have time I want to make a little cat and dog too.

felt board face bald

For the other side of the felt board I cut out a head shape (yes it’s silly-looking, but Baby Brownie doesn’t care) and eyes, nose, mouth, and eyebrows. The components of the eyes are glued together.

felt board face

Also, this silly bowl haircut. When I have time I’m going to make other versions of mouth, eyes, hair (maybe with yarn glued on) so she can change it up.

Everything fits really nicely into a large freezer bag, and it’s lightweight so it’s ideal for bringing traveling. You can make all sorts of scenes…your imagination’s the limit! I might also make a barnyard scene with animals, although animals are quite a bit harder to cut out than simple geometric shapes.

Any tips for traveling with toddlers? Any must-bring toys? Any advice would be appreciated!

(Under $100) Flush Mount Lights That Aren’t Ugly

The ceilings in our 70’s-era tract home are just under 8 feet. So one of the challenges we’ve discovered in renovating is that we have had to replace a lot of flush-mount ceiling light fixtures. Specifically, a lot of brass ‘boob’ lamps. Kinda like these, but imagine them in shiny 90’s brass:

boob lamps

Why is it so hard to find flush mount ceiling lights that aren’t ugly???

In my search for flush mount lighting I’ve been dismayed at the lack of cute flush mount fixtures out there. Almost everything is a boob or a version of a boob, and most of them look dated and/or boring. That, or they cost several hundred dollars. Hmm…under $100 is more my cup of tea. So I thought I’d bring together some of the fixtures I’ve been considering in case any of you are looking for cute flush mounts on a budget too.

So here we go — stylish flush mount ceiling fixtures under $100!

flush mount light fixtures collage

1. World Imports Schoolhouse Semi-Flush Fixture (Amazon,$49.06): Schoolhouse style lights are classic and are really trendy right now, and luckily they’re not expensive. This one is available from Amazon but I’ve seen it at Home Depot too. It would look totally cute with a couple stripes painted on (perhaps with nail polish, a la Little Green Notebook).

2. Hampton Bay Edgemoor Semi-Flush Mount (Home Depot, $89.97): This may be technically a semi-flush mount but it seems pretty close to flush, so this might work in a space where you’re tight on clearance. I’ve seen this at Home Depot in person, and the black finish looks a little cheap, but I think the Moroccan trellis shade would look awesome if you could spray paint it a warm antique brass.

3. Hampton Bay Oxnard Nickel Flush Mount (Home Depot, $44.97): I love how this light can look clean and modern in the original brushed nickel finish, but imagine it spray painted a vintagey brass (I know, I have a problem) or even oil-rubbed bronze? Suddenly it would look totally vintage steam-punk. Check out how The Hunted Interior transformed hers.

4. Vanadin Flush Mount (IKEA, $39.99): I was so excited when I saw this new fixture at IKEA, and at such a great price too! I picked one up for our front entry. It has a great vintage-modern look with its white glass shade — almost like vintage milk glass reinterpreted into a lamp. It’s a little blah with the white base but I plan on painting that…you guessed it — vintage brass.

5. allen + roth Castine Outdoor Flush Mount (Lowe’s, $79.98): Who says you can only use exterior lights indoors? For some reason outdoor flush mounts have more variety — you’re not just stuck with endless variations on the boob lamp. Plus, the more industrial look is in now. I love the seeded glass and oil-rubbed bronze finish on this one.

6. Simple Classic Pendant (West Elm, $69): I think these simple white round lights would look awesome in a midcentury modern-style home, especially in a series. They totally have a Saarinen tulip table vibe.

So if you’ve been discouraged because you’ve been looking for a flush mount fixture for your low ceiling, there are some stylish options out there! Don’t settle; go out and get yourself one!

Valley Mist

I can’t believe it took us so long to get the kitchen updating going. The breakfast nook was so drab and sad for such a long time, and in a couple weekends of work is looking so much more cheerful.

breakfast nook painted

Much better than the nondescript before, no?

wood trim breakfast nook

We chose Valley Mist by Behr for the walls. It’s a lovely bluish, greenish, grayish color. It dried a bit brighter than I expected but I like it. The kitchen should be cheerful and bright, I think. And it goes well with the pops of yellow I have in the painted frame and the DIY roman shade.

breakfast nook painted 2

I think it also makes the art stand out more.

breakfast nook painted 1

I want to add some more art on the ledge above the window, and maybe some typography.

We’re working on refinishing the old oak dining table and that will be coming back in soon. I’m just enjoying seeing the transformation of this house! I love giving the house the love it needs to truly shine.

DIY Roman Shade in Breakfast Nook

DIY Roman Shade 02

I must be the last blogger in Blogland to make a DIY roman shade from a mini-blind. There are so many tutorials out there on how to make this frugal alternative to a pricey roman shade, like this one, which I think might be one of the earliest ones (or maybe the original?). But perhaps you DIY-ers out there will benefit from seeing how I did it and what issues I ran into. I’m ultimately pretty happy with the result. I know my DIY shade won’t last forever but I’m happy with it for now, and realistically, by the time it’s ready to be retired, I’ll probably be ready to change the look anyway.

This is, by the way, the reason I still shop at Forever21.

DIY Roman Shade 05

After we removed the mini-blinds from the window in order to paint the wood trim and wainscoting, we were constantly being blinded (heh heh) by the sun shining right into our eyes at dinner time. So something needed to be done.

DIY Roman Shade 09

I picked up a 70″ mini-blind at Home Depot for about $30. I cut off the ladder cords, being very careful not to cut the pull cords. I then cut the pull cords right at the bottom, removed the slats and put 6 slats back on, along with the thicker bottom slat. I knotted the pull cords at the bottom to secure the slats back on.

NOTE: When I put the slats back on, I reversed them so the concave side was oriented towards the top of the blinds. This makes it easier to glue the convex (domed) side down later, as you’ll see.

DIY Roman Shade 06

I laid the mini-blinds out on my fabric (back side up). This fabric is actually a cotton shower curtain I picked up at HomeGoods. I loved the color and the pattern, and that it was just exactly the width of my window so I wouldn’t have to sew any seams up the middle or worry about matching up the pattern.

The hardest part here was squaring off the fabric. The shower curtain wasn’t perfectly straight long the edges, and it was slightly larger than my mini-blinds. So I used fabric glue to hem the edges and even them out.

DIY Roman Shade 07

I wanted the roman shades to fold up small. They will be inside-mounted so I didn’t want them to block too much of the window when folded up. I spaced the slats 7 inches apart.

DIY Roman Shade 08

Then I carefully glued the slats to the back of the fabric, domed-side down, using a bead of fabric glue. I made sure to leave a gap around the area where the pull cord was! At the bottom, I wrapped the fabric around the thick bottom slat and glued it down (no picture of that, sorry).

This was my first time using fabric glue and I was really impressed at how well it stuck! It definitely works better fabric-to-fabric than fabric-to-plastic though. I had to touch up a few loose areas after I hung up the mini blind.

DIY Roman Shade 03

You can see the slats through the fabric, but I don’t mind. In fact it makes it look more tailored. I can always add a liner later if I feel like I’d like to hide the slats and block more sun, but for now, I like how it filters the sun while allowing plenty of light through.

DIY Roman Shade 01

And as you can see, it folds up nice and small to maximize our window space.

DIY Roman Shade 02

DIY Roman Shade 04

The only downside is that the cord hangs behind the shade, which makes it a little more difficult to pull up or down, but it’s not that hard. I guess what I could do is to bring the cord through to the front through a little buttonhole in the fabric, and then add a flap of fabric (like a mini valance) over the top of the shade to hide it. I might do that later if the pull being at the back ends up bothering me.

Sharing at Remodelaholic, ShabbyCreekCottage, SavvySouthernStyle, TheBlissfulBee

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...